Well, here in the States, we are in full campaign mode with national Presidential elections in 7 weeks or so.
It is interesting to look at various industries and how brands openly support one political side or the other. An article in About.com - Retail Industry speaks to long-standing big brands like Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and all of the major oil companies supporting our Republican Party and more modern brands like Apple, Google, Starbucks, etc...throwing their weight behind the Democratic Party and 'green' issues.
YouGov BrandIndex interestingly analyzes how Democrats and Republicans look at brands' trustworthiness differently. Brands like Cheerios and Johnson & Johnson are perhaps on to something as both sides see them as fairly trustworthy - maybe the candidates should look at their brand positioning platforms?
As most of us have seen, many brands are leveraging social and economic 'hot topic' issues - some to their advantage and some not so much, depending on your viewpoint. Several brands that come to mind include Chick-Fil-A and JCPenney. While, others are being affected by issues like healthcare, e.g. GE Healthcare who is scaling back health benefits to employees due to higher healthcare costs and current legislation, therefore - and at the same time - reducing the need/demand for their own imaging equipment.
To add, this appears to be more than just a U.S. trend with brands and politics. One current example is the rising tensions between Japan and China and the negative effect they are having on Japanese brands and their sales into China, e.g. Panasonic and Toyota.
These are only a few of the many brand/politics trends and perceptions - there are certainly others - that are fun to look at. How are you helping your brand navigate through the inter-connected world of politics?